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  1. Esther Shalev-Gerz, Between Listening and Telling: Last Witnesses, Auschwitz, 1945-2005, 2005
    Installation view at Musée cantonal des Beaux Arts, Lausanne, 2012
    three-channel video
    Courtesy of the artist
    Photo: Nora Rapp

Fourth Annual Dean of Arts Prize for the Best Essay in Visual Literacy

DUE: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 5 pm

$1,000 prize for the winning essay

Every undergraduate student at UBC is invited to participate in an essay contest considering the relationship between history and memory.

The exhibition Esther Shalev-Gerz poses the questions, you provide the answers.
How do we locate ourselves in relation to history? How do we participate in its retelling? The retrospective exhibition Esther Shalev-Gerz illustrates the artist’s career-long investigation of significant historical moments as told and experienced by individuals. For example, Shalev-Gerz’s artwork Between Listening and Telling: Last Witnesses, Auschwitz 1945-2005 (2005) features the wordless moments of recollection from video interviews with Holocaust survivors. The views of philosopher and critical theorist Walter Benjamin on the concept of history are formative ones for Shalev-Gerz. In the seminal Theses on the Philosophy of History, Benjamin claims that “[t]o articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it ‘the way it really was’. It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashed up at a moment of danger.” How does Shalev-Gerz’s use of individual recollection and memory, telling and listening, relate to Benjamin’s position on what it means to talk about history?

The Guidelines:

Essays must be no longer than 1,000 words in length and submitted (4 hard-copies) to the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery no later than 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 28th, 2013. Contestants must be full-time students registered in an undergraduate program at the University of British Columbia.

For more information contact: Shelly Rosenblum, tel: 604-827-3287,

For a tour of the Esther Shalev-Gerz exhibition, contact: Naomi Sawada,
tel: 604-822-3640,

To view the Artist’s talk from January 12,
click here

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689